The Vampire Diaries: Season 4 Premiere

By October 14, 2012TV Reviews

I feel like I’m beating a dead horse when I say, “What is it with vampires?” And the worst part about it? I thought their reign would be over by now. But how could I think that? They’ve been around for years and like a torn up pair of jeans, they never go out of style. Vlad the Impaler must have been a real celebrity in his time.

Networks, writers and makeup artists alike are always reinventing the wheel, the wheel being the fang. And in The Vampire Diaries, they’re all young, sexy and somehow always managing to stir up stakes. And since it’s high school, stakes are soaring. And it’s silly. Oh, so silly. I’d say it’s even sillier than Twilight, which I didn’t think was possible.

But…it has viewers. When I started watching, wait, I mean walking by the TV and seeing my roommate entranced with the show, I laughed. I was sure it would be done after two seasons. Here today I’m proven wrong. Thursday night’s premiere had 3.5 million total viewers and was up a tenth in 18-49 and even in 18-34 versus last fall’s opener. It beat NBC’s 30 Rock in the adult demographic. Looks like people are switching their DVRs from Baldwin to Somerhalder, sacrificing funny for sexy. Sad. 

In the season four premiere, Elena (Nina Dobrev) has survived the accident, but awakens to her biggest fear. She’s a vampire.

Now she must begin the brutal transition into the afterlife and Stefan (Paul Wesley) and Bonnie (Kat Graham) are willing to help. Damon (Ian Somerhalder), on the other hand, is still upset that his brother allowed the whole situation to happen in the first place. Either way, Elena must live the life she never wanted.

Although her death ended Alaric’s (Matt Davis) reign as vampire hunter, the knowledge he leaked to the Town Council is still hazardous. Pastor Young (Michael Reilly Burke) and the other council members are set on capturing all of the vampires and now are clued in on their whereabouts. They manage to put Stefan and Rebekah (Claire Holt) behind bars. When he tries to take Elena under his wing, she begins experiencing the strange vampire transition side effects. When she tries to leave, she’s captured and thrown into the jail with Stefan and Rebekah.

And, wait, Elena’s life is on the line again? If she doesn’t get human blood soon, she’ll die. Bonnie, whose powers have been growing stronger, has an idea to rescue Elena and bring her back to life. But her dangerous spell has a consequence.

There’s nothing new here. Elena, once again, is the victim and the entire troop of supernaturals is rallying for her support. Why couldn’t Elena have been resurrected as a badass? Skip the transition phase. I think we all wanted to see her sucking blood from the get go. But, I’m sure we’ll get there.

It’s an interesting choice to have our pure ingénue an undead. It could either help or hurt the show. It may take the plot in a new direction, where Elena isn’t constantly the damsel in distress. Last season, when she and Damon pulled Stefan from his “ripper” phase, the tables had turned. Elena had the strength.

Rumors have already been flying about the latest monster in Mystic Falls: the hybrid. A half werewolf, half vampire breed is sure to bring the party. At this point in the show, there are still plot twists to be taken and more outrageous characters to introduce. But that’s not the problem. It’s the writing. It’s awful and no one seems to care. The Vampire Diaries has found its specific demographic, one that’s emerged over the past decade: the young soap crowd. It’s daytime TV at night. People who want to turn off their brain and watch drama. Let’s just hope our teens are still reading. Otherwise, our countries doomed and someone like Robert Pattinson will be a candidate in the next election.